New York is the place to build a career in finance. LA is the place for entertainment. And now Greater Boston is increasingly becoming the hottest place for all things biotech.
This story has been evolving for decades, and Boston/Cambridge/Waltham et al. spent many of those years as a respected No. 2 hub behind San Francisco. But if you’ve been watching the landscape around Kendall Square over the last 10 years, you’ve seen an amazing story of transformation. The academic research centers, the hospitals, the startups, the VCs, the service providers, the big biotechs, and the Big Pharmas are now all within easy elbow-rubbing distance. Hang out at the Asgard watering hole on Mass Ave at 5 pm on Friday, and you’ll know what I mean. Something special is happening here.
This ongoing story was the theme for our event last week, titled “Boston Biotech Seizes the Momentum.” We put together a series of interviews with a diverse group of biotech leaders who had different perspectives on what’s happened, and how this clustering effect positions Boston for the future. On the positive side, there are so many smart people that most everybody said they have access to plenty of talent they need to achieve their business or research goals. On the downside, a number of speakers noted the rising cost of doing business, and the need for more collaboration. I also heard complaints about Kendall Square’s glaring lack of a drugstore and a grocery store, but I suspect that’s just a matter of time.
We had a full house for this event, and a great spirit in the room that celebrated some of what Boston has achieved while recognizing the areas in which it can still improve.
Thanks to all the speakers and attendees who brought so much creative energy to this event. Special thanks go out to Biogen Idec, which hosted the event, and to Keith Spiro of Kendall Press, who snapped great photos of the action on stage and off. I hope you enjoy the photos, and keep an eye out for future Xconomy events.